Bones & All, Devotion, Strange World Aren’t Hits, But Deserve Attention

The box office woes are far from the whole story about the three awards-worthy films that opened or expanded over Thanksgiving weekend – MGM/UAR’s “Bones and All,” Sony Pictures’ “Devotion” and Walt Disney’s “Strange World.” The studios continue to push for Academy Awards attention despite low returns.

Cannibals “Bones and All” struggled to bring audiences to the theaters despite the star power of Timothée Chalamet. Still, for those who love it (spoiler alert: me), it’s one of the year’s best films, with its bloody embodiment of teenage love, meticulous crafts and high-caliber performances that elicit a passionate response.

While it may not appeal to voters who don’t like blood dripping onto nice furniture and severed fingers, the film received prizes for its director Luca Guadganino along with best young actress for Taylor Russell. The Academy would nominate both of them as more than just inspiring nominees. 

Bones & All, Devotion, Strange World Aren't Hits, But Deserve Attention

Taylor Russell and Mark Rylance “Bones and All”
©MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

Guadagnino was a once-in-a-lifetime Oscar nominee in best picture category for coming-of-age drama. “Call Me by Your Name” (2017), shepherds one of his most vigorous directorial efforts with a singular vision that’s utterly sincere. Additionally, the Italian director hopes to get into documentary filmmaking with “Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams,” A portrait of Salvatore Ferragamo, the legendary shoe designer from Sony Pictures Classics. 

Russell, who grabbed Hollywood’s attention with the under-appreciated “Waves” (2019), proves she’s a leading lady, ready to take on more complex roles such as a Maren, a young woman who ventures out to locate her mother in hopes of finding the answer to her “condition.” The best actress field will be crowded with big names and talent, but there’s a pocket of support for her that could materialize further.

Fresh off picking up three Independent Spirit noms – which included a supporting nom for Mark Rylance, the only actor that can make wearing underwear briefs a cinematic artform, I’m praying the film can continue its forward momentum this awards season including makeup and original score by two-time winning duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.


Bones & All, Devotion, Strange World Aren't Hits, But Deserve Attention

Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors), and Tom Hudner(Glen Powell). “Devotion”
Eli Ade

If the following applies to you: “Devotion,” the Academy has a true crowd-pleaser as one of the year’s selections. A nice callback to ’90s action flicks, the war film about two Naval officers’ friendship during the Korean War feels like something that would play on TNT and TBS every year and become the quintessential Saturday afternoon “Dad movie.” This is an absolute compliment. 

This movie has been classified as “the other” Glen Powell stars in an airplane film. “Top Gun: Maverick.” The films share two common themes: Powell and Airplanes. “Devotion” Each offers its own delights. 

Co-star Jonathan Majors shows that the narrative that movie stars are fading away could be premature… some are simply still coming into their own. J.D. Dillard, the movie boasts beautiful crafts such as Wynn Thomas’ luscious production design, sound and visual effects. Most notable is composer Chanda Dancy’s beautiful score, heightening each action scene and dramatic beat. It’s worthy of serious consideration by the music branch and would make Dancy the first Black woman ever nominated for original score. Also, you can listen to the original song. “Not Alone,” The song, co-written by Joe Jonas star and songwriter, offers a lot of inspiration. 


Bones & All, Devotion, Strange World Aren't Hits, But Deserve Attention

“Strange World”
Walt Disney Animation Studios

Finally, “Strange World” Is going to the path of “The Good Dinosaur” and will become one of the studio’s few financial losses in the last few years. That isn’t due to the quality. 

With very little marketing, Don Hall’s colorful gem features everything that would have Bill Maher call this the “wokest movie of the year,” In a film about climate change, a father of color and his son are portrayed alongside a Black mother and her son. It’s a Trump supporter’s worst nightmare. If given the chance to tell a tender tale about acceptance and family as well as our neglect towards Mother Earth, it will be a touching animated story that will have a lasting impact on many lives for years to come.

It’s likely not as exciting as other animated feature contenders like “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” However, there is still a chance to land on the field.

To the Academy and industry voters, don’t let the headlines about the “bombs” These films, or any film for that matter, should not be put off. That’s also the case for earlier releases such as rom-com “Bros” Billy Eichner and the meditative epic “Three Thousand Years of Longing” George Miller

Money can’t be the only measurement of success and artistic meaning in the industry. Ask any cinephile. “Children of Men” (2006), “The Iron Giant” (1999). “Fight Club” (1999). 

Visit this page to see the predictions ranked for each category. Variety’s Oscars Hub. This is the first of a series. SAG Awards Predictions for Film Moreover, it has been made public.

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